Johnson claims early lead at Colonial
Ft. Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dustin Johnson carded a 5-under 65 on Thursday to claim the early lead of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Johnson has already collected a victory this season, winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in October.
"I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing. I've got a pretty good game plan for the golf course in off the tee, so I'm going to stick to that, just trying to keep getting birdie looks on every hole," Johnson said.
Hunter Mahan, Harris English, Tim Wilkinson and Robert Streb shot matching 4- under 66s at Colonial Country Club to share second place, while three-time winner this season Jimmy Walker is among a group of 10 players tied for sixth at 3-under 67.
Walker is joined by Jason Dufner, Jordan Spieth, Tim Clark, Brice Garnett, Freddie Jacobson, Bo Van Pelt, Ken Duke, David Hearn and Wes Roach.
Defending champion Boo Weekley carded a 1-over 71 during his first round to sit in a large group of players tied for 64th place. Also among that group is new World No. 1 Adam Scott.
Johnson opened his bogey-free round with an 8-foot birdie putt at the first.
After parring his next three holes, he converted a 45-foot birdie putt at the fifth. He later rolled in back-to-back birdies from about 20 feet at the eighth and ninth to make the turn at 4-under.
Johnson surrounded a short birdie putt at the 16th with eight pars during his back nine to finish at minus-5.
"A lot of these flags it's hard to get really close to, but I hit it really solid and had a lot of 10-footers today. Just didn't hole as many as I would like to," said Johnson. "They're just burning the edges."
Wilkinson was the lone member of the group at 4-under to play in the morning wave and he followed an opening par with consecutive birdies at the second and third. He later poured in a birdie from 19 feet at the ninth to reach 3-under.
He parred his next seven holes before rolling in a lengthy birdie putt at the 17th and parred the last to claim the clubhouse lead at 4-under.
Streb countered a lone bogey with five birdies to also finish at minus-4, while English has two bogeys and six birdies to earn his share of second place.
Mahan, meanwhile, raced out of the gate with a 10-foot eagle putt at the first he followed with a birdie at the second.
He would later convert three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the fifth to move to the top of the leaderboard at 6-under.
Mahan could not carry that momentum into his back nine, however, as he posted bogeys at the 12th and 15th around a birdie at the 14th to fall to 5-under.
He again reached minus-6 with a 32-foot birdie putt at the 17th, but then tripped to a double-bogey 6 at the 18th to fall back to 4-under.
"This course is the easiest hard course we play all year," said Mahan. "You could shoot 5- or 6-under like it's no big deal, and then tournament time comes around and all of the sudden the fairways get a little tighter."
NOTES: Johnson has recorded at least one win in seven straight seasons. That streak trails just Mickelson's run of 10 straight years as the longest on the PGA Tour ... Johnson holds the lead after the first round for the seventh time in his career ... Wilkinson is trying to become the first player to win the Colonial in his first start since Sergio Garcia in 2001 ... Scott Brown had a hole-in-one at the 13th.
05/22 21:35:03 ET